Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index

Shahrad Taheri, Ling Lin, Diane Austin, Terry Young, Emmanuel Mignot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1235 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Sleep duration may be an important regulator of body weight and metabolism. An association between short habitual sleep time and increased body mass index (BMI) has been reported in large population samples. The potential role of metabolic hormones in this association is unknown. Methods and Findings: Study participants were 1,024 volunteers from the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study, a population-based longitudinal study of sleep disorders. Participants underwent nocturnal polysomnography and reported on their sleep habits through questionnaires and sleep diaries. Following polysomnography, morning, fasted blood samples were evaluated for serum leptin and ghrelin (two key opposing hormones in appetite regulation), adiponectin, insulin, glucose, and lipid profile. Relationships among these measures, BMI, and sleep duration (habitual and immediately prior to blood sampling) were examined using multiple variable regressions with control for confounding factors. A U-shaped curvilinear association between sleep duration and BMI was observed. In persons sleeping less than 8 h (74.4% of the sample), increased BMI was proportional to decreased sleep. Short sleep was associated with low leptin (p for slope = 0.01), with a predicted 15.5% lower leptin for habitual sleep of 5 h versus 8 h, and high ghrelin (p for slope = 0.008), with a predicted 14.9% higher ghrelin for nocturnal (polysomnographic) sleep of 5 h versus 8 h, independent of BMI. Conclusion: Participants with short sleep had reduced leptin and elevated ghrelin. These differences in leptin and ghrelin are likely to increase appetite, possibly explaining the increased BMI observed with short sleep duration. In Western societies, where chronic sleep restriction is common and food is widely available, changes in appetite regulatory hormones with sleep curtailment may contribute to obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-217
Number of pages8
JournalPLoS Medicine
Volume1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Ghrelin
Leptin
Sleep
Body Mass Index
Polysomnography
Appetite
Hormones
Blood
Appetite Regulation
Adiponectin
Population
Metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. / Taheri, Shahrad; Lin, Ling; Austin, Diane; Young, Terry; Mignot, Emmanuel.

In: PLoS Medicine, Vol. 1, 2004, p. 210-217.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Taheri, Shahrad ; Lin, Ling ; Austin, Diane ; Young, Terry ; Mignot, Emmanuel. / Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. In: PLoS Medicine. 2004 ; Vol. 1. pp. 210-217.
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